WikiLeaks Supporters Rally in San Francisco

Gil Riego
Rainey Reitman of the Electronic Frontier Foundation speaks in support of Julian Assange and Bradley Manning
​ Martin MacKerel wanted to make sure no one got confused about the location of a hastily organized rally in favor of WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange. Around 50 demonstrators rallied outside the British consulate at Sutter and Sansome last night.

But the original demonstration was set for noon Thursday at the Powell Street BART station -- so, opting to go low-tech, MacKerel, a self-described "organizer," stood around at the station with a sign informing all who cared to look of the change of plans.

"I was contacted by Rainey Reitman of the Electronic Frontier Foundation after I started doing invites on Facebook and other sites online," Said MacKerel, a Western Addition resident. "She then really kicked it off by spreading it on the EFF Twitter feed."

MacKerel, Reitman and others stood at the steps of the building housing the consulate demanding that the government not censor the free speech of Wikileaks and whistleblowers. "This goes beyond WikiLeaks," said Rietman, whose job title at the EFF is actually categorized as "activist."

"This will affect everything from the New York Times down to anything anyone decides to publish on the Internet."

Other demonstrators were calling for the release of Manning from his solitary confinement at Quantico. They held up signs and banners that read "Free Bradley Manning" and "Bradley Manning is a hero."

The light attendance didn't seem to dampen MacKerel's spirits. "Most people were given a one- or two-day notice," he said. "I would have been happy with five people because that's more than zero."

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